Thursday, 10 August 2017
Monkeys? What has this to do with monkeys?
If we evolved from monkeys, how come there are still monkeys? If the Conservatives are so economically competent, how come they’ve had to borrow so much money? Yeah, well if monopolies are so bad, how come there is only one Monopolies Commission? Answer me that! These and many more are the afterthought clinchers, the killer responses that you thought of just after the debate ended. They are also – like so many of these killer retorts – mostly as insubstantial as the rest of the preceding argument. Oft as not you later realise they were as fallacious as all that went before.
Thus has the Brexit war proceeded; from who is going to staff our NHS and who is going to pick our fruit, as one trite objection has surfaced and become mundane by repetition, another has sprung up to nudge it off the headlines. Damn you, employment figures, damn you, financial Armageddon and your insistence on not showing up to the party we held in your honour. Why can’t we get Brexiteers to admit that they were wrong? So very, very wrong; can’t they see how insignificant, ignorant, xenophobic, small-minded and... and... just wrong, they are?
In the face of all this we have offered up a wry smile, pointed to the Brexit scoreboard (52:48, by the way, in case you’d forgotten) and got on with our lives. Because, while the overall demeanour of the average ardent EU-phile has been one of gloom, despondency and downright, fist-balled, pessimistic fury, the average Outer has largely carried on regardless with a spring in his step and jaunty little whistle. Like watching a tantrum-fuelled toddler thrashing about, we find the whole situation hilarious. While we might express some concern for those who are merely confused, when it comes to seeing those who had assumed ultimate authority over all our lives suddenly losing their grip, what’s not to like?
They’ve put their oh-so-clever heads together, they who have long peddled Project Fear and launched their latest afterthought clincher, to wit: “If Brexit is such a good idea, give me one tangible, practical example of the benefits.” It’s everywhere right now, that challenge. But Just as they misread the mood of the people on whom were imposed illiberal thought policing, multicultural mayhem and the idiocy of diversity above all, they have misread the battlefield they are playing on. They are going to be so cross when they find out.
‘Studies’ show how low-information voters defy the carefully constructed machinations of those who know so much better... But (and this especially includes all who make a living from trying to understand how people work ) those same studies often backfire and demonstrate nothing so much as how a closed mind – the very thing they accuse us of – is incapable of understanding how people work. Philosophers, ‘humanists’, economists, politicians, psychologists, ‘thought leaders’... the list goes on; the experts are revealed to be charlatans and self-interested frauds.
Brexit isn’t a tangible, practical thing; it doesn’t come with a list of ‘benefits’. Brexit has revealed itself to be more of an emotional tool and it has shone a light on much that we long suspected. On completion of the ‘divorce’ process there will be no miracle new way; nobody expects that. But there won’t be a cliff-edge disaster either because life will go on and opportunistic humans will make the most of it and yes, that includes even the remainers who seem so desperate right now for it to fail.
We are sanguine in the face of your ceaseless insults because what Brexit has shown is that the power can be prised from the grasp of the elites and that while democracy may be far from perfect it still gives us the freedom to exercise our will. And more, the reaction against Brexit has revealed just how much contempt those elites – academic, political, sociological, etc – hold for we ‘little people’. We now know, if we hadn’t known before, that you can’t trust a disinterested third party with the personal freedoms you hold so precious. You wanted a tangible benefit of voting for Brexit? That alone is priceless.